Country Road$: West Virginia DMV Fees Increase

By: Allison Perrine July 10, 2017
Fees for registrations and gasoline will increase in West Virginia as the state looks to finance a roads improvement plan.
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West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) charges such as registration fees, inspection sticker costs, and more increased this month.

In June, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 1006, which supports his highway financing and construction plan. The bill increases vehicle registration fees from $28.50 to $50 annually for gas-powered vehicles and inspection sticker prices from $5 to $10. Furthermore, owners of hydrogen-, natural gas-, or electricity-fueled vehicles will pay $200 per year to register. Owners of vehicles fueled by a combination of electricity and gasoline will pay $100 annually.

Though prices will increase, the bill may potentially employ up to 48,000 people in the state, Justice has said. “What it will do for our state is unbelievable. It will bring employment like crazy.”

The bill will also affect the state’s gas and privilege taxes; the gas tax will increase from 20.5 to 25 cents per gallon, and the privilege tax from 5% to 6% of the total cost of a purchased vehicle. Fees may increase every 5 years according to the federal pricing index, the legislation reads.

Not all were pleased with the bill’s passing; Louis Southworth, a lobbyist for West Virginia-based convenience store chain GoMart, described how the bill could negatively impact state border county businesses.

According to Southworth, gas taxes in border states would be significantly lower than West Virginia’s after this increase: Virginia’s tax would be 20 cents less, Kentucky’s 10 cents less, Ohio’s 8 cents less, and Maryland’s 3 cents less. This would do damage to West Virginian convenience stores like GoMart, he added.

After signing the bill, Justice tweeted, “It’s an incredible day for WV. We can now fix our roads and put people to work. We’ve got 500 road projects in the works.”

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